Collection of Afghanistan Content

Also, announcement on the future of the Narrative Control podcast

I was on Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar yesterday, talking about the Afghanistan withdrawal, and why people shouldn’t blame Biden for how it went.

I’ve been tweeting quite a bit on what’s been happening over the last few days. Here are some tweets, along with older threads that are valuable. I plan to keep updating this post, as I find more things I did in the past or produce more content in the future.

Below are links to tweets on…

Why leaving had to go this poorly, and why Biden made the right decision. (thread)

The Taliban as a high IQ, highly educated movement.

Excerpts from The Taliban by Ahmed Rashid, on topics including their war on pederasty. (thread, March 2021)

US report on its gender policy in Afghanistan, including workshops on masculinity and “gender advisers” sent to the military. (thread, March 2021)

How the generals manipulated Obama into staying, which also reveals why Biden was determined not to be similarly scammed by them. (thread, January 2020)

Public opinion.

Ashraf Ghani having been the wrong man for the job. (thread)

Republican idiocy. (here, here, here, here, and here)

How I was more pessimistic about the Afghan forces surviving than the betting markets (two weeks ago, I gave a 70-80% chance of Taliban victory by 2026, compared to 55% at Metaculus).

Afghan police surrendering for $150 after they hadn’t been paid for six months.

On pedophilia in the Afghan government. (March 2021)

The original Afghanistan papers thread. (December 2019)

Threads on Anand Gopal’s book No Good Men Among the Living, and “The Other Afghan Women,” an article in The New Yorker. (September 2021)

See also previous articles on why the Afghan forces weren’t worth fighting for (March 2021), and why the move to withdraw is the right one politically for Biden (April 2021).

The lessons of the Afghanistan debacle are deep, and they’re of course not just about that country, or even just about foreign policy. This failure is only an extreme example of an elite that often has its own parochial interests and ideology about the way the world is supposed to work, and how these people can form communities that are incapable of learning and gripped by self-righteousness while having access to an endless stream of funding. I may write about the broader lessons at some point.

On a completely different note, there have been no Narrative Control podcasts for a few days, and that is because Jonah Davids, who records them, is not feeling well. This has made me realize that it’s probably unrealistic to promise to keep providing the same bundle of content, as there is no backup plan in case either me or Jonah is occupied for a few days. I’ll still release the TV and movie discussions with Rob Henderson, plus have occasional articles read, on the Narrative Control podcast. There might be other things in the future too.

If you subscribed for the bundle of content, you can get a prorated refund through Substack. From now on, subscriptions should be seen more as a matter of providing voluntary support than getting content, although I will make some content available to subscribers. If that’s what your subscription represented in the first place, then there’s no need to change anything, as I’ll still be doing just as much work.